Review: A Darkness at the Door by Intisar Khanani

Title: A Darkness at the Door

Series: Dauntless Path #3

Author: Intisar Khanani

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

‘The final reckoning.’

So we left Rae in a predicament in the last book and now continues the rest of story……

This tale takes us on sea voyages, to different towns, we meet villains, there’s camaraderie and also a dash of romance!

Bren and Rae make my heart sing! They accept each other just as they are.

Also 2 huge highlights in this book for me were Bren’s companions, Lirika and Artemian, they were just fab side characters.

As well as the above there is drama, deceptions, action and magic – this book has it all and I completely adored it.

I don’t see this trilogy about much and that has to be remedied as each book was a solid 5 stars for me, more if I could give them!

Review: The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard

Title: The Red Scholar’s Wake

Author: Aliette de Bodard

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

The premise of this book was absolutely intriguing – a sapphic space opera!

Xich Si finds herself kidnapped by a ship, Rice Fish, and they come to a bargain. Rice Fish’s wife has just passed away and she needs another so offers marriage for protection and to help her find information.

This was a story full of pirates, suspense and romance (which was quite cute!)

It did feel like it dragged though, there was just too much in there that I felt didn’t need be there. It was one of those books for me that I couldn’t read in 1, 2 or even 3 sittings, it was small sprints all the way.

I am a bit gutted though because I wanted to love this story more than I did.

Review: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Title: Howl’s Moving Castle

Series: Howl’s Moving Castle #1

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

I absolutely adored this read!!!!

Sophie is spelled into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste and goes to Howl in his moving castle, strikes a bargain with a fire demon and ends up staying!

The characters are fun, weird and quirky and I fell in love with each of them!

Sophie – grumpy old lady
Howl – no feelings wizard
Michael – wizards apprentice
Calcifer the fire demon (and my fave!)

This story was magical, charming and captured my heart!

I hear there is a film of this so I might try and track it down because Howl now owns my heart!!!!

TTT – Thankful Freebie!

Top Ten Tuesday is featured by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic: Thankful Freebie –
Authors I’m thankful for

I mean some of my reasons seem really shallow so I must be shallow then…..but when it comes to books who cares!

Sarah J Maas – for Azriel, Ruhn and the jaw dropping end of Crescent City 2!

Leigh Bardugo for the Grishaverse!

Susan Ee for giving me the joy of Raffe and Penryn!

Nora Sakavic – Andriel, need I say more?

Brandon Sanderson for showing me I love sci-fi!

Cassandra Clare as she gave me my Will, Kieran and Matthew!

Jay Kristoff for just everything he writes (it’s golden!)

Olivia Atwater for cementing my love for historical romance!

TJ Klune for writing hilarious books which never fail to make me lol!!

Kristen Ashley for writing the best adult romances I’ve ever read.

Who would be yours?

Review: The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani

Title: The Theft of Sunlight

Series: Dauntless Path #2

Author: Intisar Khanani

I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away from it.

Children have been disappearing from across Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her friend’s sister is snatched, Rae knows she can’t look away any longer – even if that means seeking answers from the royal court, where her country upbringing and clubfoot will only invite ridicule.

Yet the court holds its share of surprises. There she discovers an ally in the foreign princess, who recruits her as an attendant. Armed with the princess’s support, Rae seeks answers in the dark city streets, finding unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges street thief with secrets of his own. But treachery runs deep, and the more Rae uncovers, the more she endangers the kingdom itself.

A different leading lady, twinned with the original character….a shared cause.

Oh this story was so good! I listened to the audio and the narrator was fab!

Rae comes from the country to the Palace to stay with her cousin to help her but finds herself as an attendant to the new Queen, Alyrra.

Together they take on the plot of the missing children. Spying, gathering information and making alliances with a thief gang. It was so good, I was riveted!

Oh Bren…..oh how I loved that loveable rogue!!! I really hope there’s a hea there!

Well I didn’t expect that jaw dropper near the end! I was like no way so can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Sunday Post – 20th November 2022

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received.

Hi everyone, hope you’ve had a good week?

Am fighting the compulsion to put my Christmas tree up! The struggle is real!!!! But my son wants to wait until the end of November! So we are at a stalemate!!!

Reading wise, I’ve done well, 2 audiobooks and a physical (I’m reading another physical book but haven’t finished yet), and I tried something new and magical this week! Reading sprints! It was really good to get my book read but I guess it felt a bit business like and not reading for enjoyment!

What I’ve Read

Princess of Souls by Alexandra Christo
See my review here.

🎧 Kingdom Of The Feared by Kerri Maniscalco
See my review here.

🎧 One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
See my review here.

New arrivals

A Fire Endless by Rebecca Ross

You might have missed…..

Review – Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber
Review – Amari and the Great Game by BB Alston
Review – Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Review – Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse
Feature – Books I want releasing December

What have you read lately?

Books I want releasing December 2022!

I think it’s known that December is a slow release month so that makes me happy, maybe a chance to catch up a tad with my tbr? Oh how I make jokes! I seriously need to get paid for reading so I don’t need to work!

Just the one I want in December and in preparation I’ve been doing a reread of the series, one a month so I’m ready for all the Celestial Heirs goodness!

Of course I’ve preordered the ebook!! 🤣

Zodiac Academy book 8 by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

What books are you looking forward to?

Review: Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Title: Tread of Angels

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

Celeste, a card sharp with a penchant for trouble, takes on the role of advocatus diaboli, to defend her sister Mariel, accused of murdering a Virtue, a member of the ruling class in the mining town of Goetia, in a new world of dark fantasy.

High in the remote mountains, the town of Goetia is booming as prospectors from near and far come to mine the powerful new element Divinity. Divinity is the remains of the body of the rebel Abaddon, who fell to earth during Heaven’s War, and it powers the world’s most inventive and innovative technologies, ushering in a new age of progress. However, only the descendants of those that rebelled, called Fallen, possess the ability to see the rich lodes of the precious element. That makes them a necessary evil among the good and righteous people called the Elect, and Goetia a town segregated by ancestry and class.

Celeste and Mariel are two Fallen sisters, bound by blood but raised in separate worlds. Celeste grew up with her father, passing in privileged Elect society, while Mariel stayed with their mother in the Fallen slums of Goetia. Upon her father’s death, Celeste returns to Goetia and reunites with Mariel. Mariel is a great beauty with an angelic voice, and Celeste, wracked by guilt for leaving her sister behind, becomes her fiercest protector.

When Mariel is accused of murdering a Virtue, the powerful Order of the Archangels that rule Goetia, Celeste must take on the role of Advocatus Diaboli (Devil’s Advocate) and defend her sister in the secretive courts of the Virtue. Celeste, aided by her ex-lover, Abraxas, who was once one of the rebels great generals, sets out to prove Mariel innocent. But powerful forces among the Virtues and the Elect mining barons don’t want Celeste prying into their business, and Mariel has secrets of her own. As Celeste is drawn deeper into the dark side of Goetia, she unravel a layer of lies and manipulation that may doom Mariel and puts her own immortal soul at risk, in this dark fantasy noir from the bestselling mastermind Rebecca Roanhorse.

A western fantasy with fallen angels, demons and humans.

Celeste is forced to play advocatus diaboli, the devils advocate, to defend her sister, Mariel, against a crime and Celeste finds help from her demon ex, Abraxas.

I liked the premise behind this novella but Celeste put me off, I really didn’t warm to her at all. She was rude and spiteful to everyone, everyone who was trying to help her apart from her sister who she idolised at the expense of even herself. She was a fool!

I hate it when I don’t like a main character but maybe the message here is look past what you see? 3.5 stars